“Healing Stone” author, Brock Booher, grew up on a farm in rural Kentucky, the fourth of 10 children, where he learned to work hard, use his imagination, and believe in himself. He left the farm to pursue the friendly skies as a pilot, and currently flies for a major US carrier.
A dedicated husband and father of six children, Booher began writing out of sheer arrogance, but the writing craft quickly humbled him. During that process, he discovered that he enjoyed writing because it is an endeavor that can never quite be mastered. He still gladly struggles every day to improve his writing and storytelling skills.
Take a gander at this excerpt from his debut novel, “Healing Stone,” to see how he’s doing in that struggle.
Stone has gone for a drive with his girlfriend Ruby (the Preacher’s daughter), and against his father’s wishes, has told her about his gift. The two young lovers share an intimate moment.
I shrugged and shook my head. “It’s just so bizarre I don’t know what to think.” I looked her straight in the eye. “Don’t tell anybody. My daddy would skin me alive if he knew I was talking to you about this.”
She giggled like a little girl that had just learned her best friend’s deepest, darkest fear and relished in it. “Sounds like our fathers are a lot alike.” She stretched herself out on the front seat again with her feet out the window and her head in my lap with hair soft as corn silk falling against my legs. “Do you think it’s from God?” she asked. Her chocolate eyes sparkled with excitement.
“I don’t know, but if it isn’t, why did the words from that scripture keep playing over and over again in my head. It was weird.” I stroked her hair and with her touch found my worries being clouded by my desires. She must have noticed the change in my face because she grabbed the back of my neck and pulled me down into a long wet kiss.
We had kissed several times before, but they were usually courteous pecks on the lips or cheek. Once or twice, when we weren’t being chaperoned by her father or mother, the kisses had been charged with a little more energy, but it always felt like we were both holding back trying keep ourselves from journeying down forbidden paths. We held nothing back in this kiss. The power of the shared secret deepened the bond between us, and I felt a surge of desire run through my loins. I ran my fingers through her hair and grabbed her behind the head trying to press her closer, as if that were possible. She responded to me with a hunger that I could feel through her supple lips. For a moment the desire overcame us and all the emotional walls came down, but it was only for a moment.
In these parts, it is common for a father to have a candid conversation with a young man that wants to court his daughter. It isn’t uncommon for the father to have some sort of firearm in plain view during the sit down. It sends a clear message about consequences to any young man with ill intentions. When I first asked to date Ruby, Pastor Tabor had interviewed me. He had made it crystal clear how much he valued the chastity of his only daughter. He had put the fear of God in me, but I didn’t see any guns while he talked. He simply opened up the Bible and read verse after verse about sexual sin and the punishments of hell. He wasn’t going to shoot me. That would have been too good for me. He was going to make sure that hell had a nice warm spot for me throughout the eternities.
I think Ruby and I both realized our predicament at the same time. She released my neck and let herself fall back into my lap as she sucked in a sharp breath. I slipped my hand from her silky hair and put both hands on the steering wheel. She giggled again and shivered like she had just heard someone scrape their nails against the chalkboard and liked it. I took a deep breath through my nose and exhaled slowly through my mouth. I didn’t want to go to hell, but I could understand how folks would risk it for another bite from the apple of desire.
Off in the distance I could see the water of the Cumberland River meandering through the valley. I thought of all the fish in that river that just lived to eat, swim around, and reproduce. Was there some sort of fish society that restricted them from carrying out their urges or desires? No, I’ll bet when they get hungry they just eat. When they get tired I’ll bet they just go to sleep. When the mood hits them to have sex, if they have sex, I’ll bet they don’t try to suppress the desire in the name of some fish-society rule. Right at that moment, I wished I was a fish.